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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas scoop for Cambridge University Library

After a drive to raise 1.25 million pounds, Cambridge University Library has taken delivery of the Siegried Sassoon papers.

A while ago, there was a short discussion about books that changed one's life. I didn't think of poetry at the time, but reading Sassoon poetry in class certainly changed my ideas about war -- for good, and for ever. Aimed at adults, it stirred the soul of a nine-year-old.

Anyway, according to a BBC report, the university library scooped the archive by raising all that money, helped by a grant worth just over a half million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Other donors were the Monument Trust, the JP Getty Jr Trust, and Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement.
Sassoon was an undergrad. at Cambridge, and became an honorary fellow of Clare College. Author Sebastian Faulks, whose novel Birdsong is set in the battlefields of WW1, said, "This is a major coup for Cambridge University Library, and the papers will be of huge benefit to scholars both of literature and of history."

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